As much as I love my white bread recipe I really wanted to create a wholemeal version. This loaf is a little smaller than my white bread and the buttermilk gives it a lovely subtle tang which I remember wholemeal bread having. This recipe has taken a few attempts to get the texture and flavour just right. I initially had some issues with over-rising and the texture being too holey. But persistence does pay off!
Experiment 1, the first time I made it, I used a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the buttermilk and a tablespoon of yeast. And oh boy, this loaf was ginormous!! The texture was very holey and there was a little too much tang in flavour for my liking. But it thankfully was edible.
Experiment 2, I reduced the vinegar and kept the same amount of yeast. This result was better, especially in flavour, although it had still over-risen and quite holey.
Experiment 3, I kept the vinegar the same and reduced the yeast by ½ teaspoon. This was a much better outcome, although I felt it was a little too light in texture.
Experiment 4, I slightly increased the wholegrain flour ratios, and added in some quinoa flakes, and this loaf turned out great! I made it a couple of more times to make sure this recipe was consistent. Finally, this loaf was a winner!
A little tip, this batter is a bit thicker than the white loaf I make, so you will need to use an oiled spatula to push it evenly into the ends of the loaf pan. Now this will cause some wrinkling to the top of the loaf. However, if you lightly oil your hand, you can smooth over the top of the loaf nicely without it sticking to you.
There are a few things to keep in mind when making bread. Your oven, altitude and climate, whether it’s dry or humid, can influence your results. At the moment it is autumn here in Australia and is still quite warm. I know from when making bread rolls, I do have different results in winter compared to making them in summer.
Make sure you have all the ingredients at room temperature before you start making the bread. It is really important to have your milk at the right temperature 41C-46C (105F-114F). If your milk is too hot it can kill the yeast and if it’s not hot enough your yeast will not activate. I’ve found I have more consistent results by using my oven to prove the bread. I always put a bowl of water in the bottom of the oven, as this creates a warm but humid environment, which is perfect for bread proving.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
125ml (½ cup) warm dairy free milk of choice, I used almond
2 teaspoons (10ml) apple cider vinegar
180ml (¾ cup) warm dairy free milk of choice, I used almond
1 tablespoon (15ml) molasses
2½ teaspoons (12.5ml) instant dried yeast
64g (2.3 ounces or ½ cup) tapioca starch
60g (2.2 ounces or ⅓ cup) potato starch
56g (2.0 ounces or ½ cup) almond flour
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) sorghum flour
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) millet flour
50g (1.8 ounces or ⅓ cup) buckwheat flour
40g (1.4 ounces or ¼ cup) teff flour
1 tablespoon (15ml) xanthan gum
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
21g (0.7 ounces or 3 tablespoons) quinoa flakes
60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Grease and line a box sided loaf pan with baking paper or parchment. The size of my loaf pan was 23 x 12 x 7cm (9 x 4¾ x 2¾ inches).
Stir the apple cider vinegar into the warm milk and set aside for 15 minutes. After that time it would have slightly thickened.
Preheat the oven to 75C (167F) and place about 2 cups of warm water in a bowl and place it at the bottom of your oven. Once the temperature has been reached, turn your oven off.
The temperature of the milk needs to be between 41C-46C (105F-114F). Add the molasses and yeast and give it a stir to combine. Allow it to stand for no longer than 7 minutes, so please set a timer! The yeast will be frothy and bubbly.
While you’re waiting for the yeast to prove, measure out the flours, xanthan gum and salt, then sift them together before stirring through the quinoa flakes before setting aside.
Using a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the wet ingredients to the bowl and pour in the yeast when it has finished proving along with the buttermilk, mixing on a low speed to combine. Continuing at a low speed, gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and keep mixing until well combined.
Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, before turning the speed up to medium and beat for 4 minutes.
Spoon the thick batter as evenly as you can into the prepared loaf pan and smooth over the surface (see notes above). If you lightly oil your spatula, it will help to stop it from sticking to the bread dough.
To finishing proving your loaf, place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes, by which time it would have risen to a little above the top of the pan. Now remove the loaf pan and the bowl of water from the oven.
Turn the oven to 160C and wait until the oven has reached the set temperature, before placing the loaf pan back in the oven. It will continue to rise a little more while waiting for the oven to reach the set temperature. Bake for 40 minutes until it is beautifully golden brown and when you tap on the surface it should sound hollow.
As soon as it comes out of the oven, immediately remove the bread from the pan and lay it on its side for about 8 minutes on a cooling rack. Then, turn it to the other side for another 8 minutes, before standing it in an upright position to cool completely. This method helps the bread keep its shape.
The bread needs to be completely cool before slicing and will last a couple of days in an airtight container, which you can either store in the pantry or the refrigerator. However, you can also slice it and wrap it in plastic wrap, before popping it in the freezer. Although, if freezing, I find placing the wrapped bread in an airtight container also helps protects it from frostbite.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8